The methods and procedures for handling aircraft
ashore are similar to those afloat. When an air wing or
squadron is shore based, it operates on air stations that
have paved spotting areas. The area where a particular
group of aircraft is spotted or parked is referred to as
"the line." Aircraft are spotted on the line for servicing,
loading, maintenance, and checking for operational
readiness. It is the responsibility of the personnel
assigned to the line crew to direct and spot the aircraft.
The line is spotted following the flight schedule
instructions. Aircraft must be spotted for engine turnup,
taxiing, or towing without endangering other aircraft on
In directing an aircraft that is taxiing from the line,
the director should remain in control of the aircraft until
it is clear of other aircraft or obstructions in the spotting
area. Incoming aircraft should be met at the edge of the
spotting area and directed to the appropriate spot.
Transient aircraft often require assistance in taxiing
from the runway to the spotting area. An appropriate
vehicle that has the words "follow me" displayed in
large letters is used. The vehicle meets the aircraft at the
end of the runway or an intersection to the runway and
leads it to the spotting area or flight line.
Personnel assigned to flight line duty should
fire-fighting equipment available on the line. They must
know their location and capabilities and ensure, by
frequent inspection, that they are always ready for use.
The use of standard color-coded fire extinguishers
promotes greater safety and lessens the chances of
error, confusion, or inaction in time of emergency.
Coding distinguishes flight-line fire extinguishers from
building fire equipment.
The type of extinguisher, together with the class of
fire it extinguishes, must be painted on a 6-inch color
band. The letters are black and at least 1 inch in height.
The 6-inch band around the top of the extinguisher
should be painted as follows:
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)..
Silver or white
Purple K Powder........
Carts for handling the 50-pound extinguisher
bottles should be painted the same color as the
extinguisher band. The containers or holders for the
other fire extinguishers located on the line may also be
painted the same color as the extinguisher band.
MULTIENGINE AIRCRAFT HANDLING
Because each type of multiengine aircraft requires
slightly different handling procedures, this discussion
is limited to general handling procedures. Specific
handling procedures for specific aircraft may be found
in the "General Information and Servicing" section of
Many multiengine aircraft have a means of steering
the nosewheel from the cockpit. While this provides
more effective control when the aircraft is taxied, it also
limits the radius of turns. When an aircraft equipped
with cockpit steering is being directed, allow sufficient
space as a turn is being made. The nosewheel steering
system should be disengaged, if possible, when an
aircraft is towed by the nosewheel.
Special towing equipment is provided for each type
of multiengine aircraft. This consists of a nosewheel
towing and steering bar for forward towing and a main
gear tow bar or adapter for aft towing. The nosewheel
bar is used to steer the aircraft when towing it from aft.
Large aircraft should be towed slowly and
carefully. Sudden starts, stops, and turns must be
avoided. When an aircraft is towed, the brakes should
be engaged only in an emergency. If a quick stop is
necessary, the brakes of the tractor and aircraft should
be applied at the same time (the aircraft move director
coordinates this action by blowing a whistle).
In addition to the above handling instructions, the
following safety precautions should be observed:
During towing operations, have a qualified
operator in the pilot's seat to operate the brakes when
necessary. Ensure that there is sufficient hydraulic
pressure for brake operation.
When aircraft are moved in close spaces, a taxi
director and sufficient walkers should be placed to
provide centralized control and to ensure clearance of
If the aircraft is equipped with a tail wheel,
unlock the tail wheel before the aircraft is moved.
Ensure that the landing gear safety lockpins or
down locks are installed before the aircraft is towed.
Do not turn the nosewheel beyond the
nosewheel turn limits. Structural damage will result.